The San Valentino Catacomb in Rome is situated near a large burial ground, containing mausoleums dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries. The catacombs themselves date back to the third century. They are only open to the public on Valentine’s Day.
San Valentino Catacomb Rome
Address, opening hour and admission
Address: Viale Maresciallo Pilsudski, 2 – Rome. Opening hours: 10.00 till 13.00 and 15.00 till 17.00, only on Valentine’s day. During the rest of the year, a guided visit for groups or schools is possible and can be arranged by contacting the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (tel.: +39 064465610).
History and description
Saint Valentine’s Catacombs are characterized by a level entrance way leading onto a series of underground passages following a grid system. In the 4th century two new levels of hallways were constructed above the original one.
Also in the 4th century a basilica was built. It had three naves, a crypt and an apse that was excavated in the Parioli hill. Around the middle of the 7th century this basilica was renovated.
The cult of Saint Valentine dates back to the times of Emperor Constantine. It is thought that the martyr was born in the town of Terni, since there is a martyr of the name Valentine venerated there as well. Terni also lies along the Via Flaminia.
The catacomb was discovered in the 17th century by Bosio, who happened to own a villa right above them.